If the changing temperatures in BC have you re-examining your home cooling system to prepare for another scorching summer, you’re not alone. The good news is that air conditioning technology is evolving. New AC units are quieter, more energy efficient, and easier to install and maintain than they were a few years ago.
But with so much to choose from, how do you know which air conditioning unit is right for you? Doing your research before you buy will save you time and money down the road. We’ve put together a guide to help you take the overwhelm out of the process by knowing exactly what questions to ask and what to look for.
Types of Air Conditioning Units
Understanding your options will help you find an air conditioning unit that provides consistent, affordable comfort for years to come. There are four main types of air conditioning units, they are:
Window Mounted Air Conditioners – This is the most common type of unit, which is temporarily placed in a window opening. You can get a cooling only unit, or one that can also provide supplemental heat.
Wall Mounted Air Conditioners – These units are permanently mounted and also come in cooling only or heating/cooling varieties. These can be more aesthetically appealing with no off-season storage required; however, they sometimes come with high installation costs and require the purchase of extra parts.
Window/Wall Mounted Air Conditioners – This type of air conditioner is versatile and can be temporarily or permanently installed. Although versatility can be ideal, sometimes these units lack installation kits and require a specifically dedicated circuit to function.
Portable Air Conditioners – This type of air conditioning unit is on wheels and can be moved throughout your home from room to room. These AC units can be convenient and easy to store at the end of the season, but are often costly and require some set up maintenance every time they are moved.
Air Conditioner Buying Guide – Choose a Reliable Manufacturer
It’s worth your while to thoroughly research manufacturers and brands before you choose your air conditioning unit. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Reliability – Do your research. Look for customer reviews and feedback on websites.
- Cost – Take the time to do a cost comparison and consider if the prices are fair in relation to other brands.
- Warranty and Customer Service – Find out if they warranty their products, and if help is available down the line if you need it.
- Energy Efficiency – Look for a brand with a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of at least 14, or an Energy Star. An energy star will pinpoint the most efficient units on the market and save you money down the road.
- Features – Determine if the brand offers everything you’re looking for, including energy efficiency, remote control, a reliable lifespan, and more.
Size up Your Space
Choosing the correct size AC unit for your home is essential. If the air conditioner is too small, it won’t be able to cool your home effectively, and if it’s too big it will cycle on and off frequently, wasting energy and increasing your costs.
In general, most air conditioners will list their cooling capacity to help you gauge the right size unit for your home; however, the best way to be sure you find the right size unit is by having a professional load calculation. A typical calculation will take into account the size of your home, the climate you live in, roof material, and other important information.
This calculation will help you determine the BTU (British Thermal Units) rating to look for when you’re shopping for your air conditioning unit and find the accurate BTU rating to ensure proper cooling and comfort levels in your home.
Important Factors for an AC Unit
Once you’ve assessed the available brands, determined your needs, and sized up your space, the most important factors to consider are installation, energy efficiency, and an annual maintenance plan. Once you’ve found a unit with a high SEER rating and an energy star, your air conditioner’s efficiency is largely determined by its installation.
Call the local cooling experts at Ashton for essential home cooling services you can rely on this summer. We have a team of professionals to help you with all your installation, repairs, and maintenance needs!